Everyday Carry

10 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your EDC Going Strong

Authored by:
Ed Jelley
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
10 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your EDC Going Strong

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Even the most dependable gear wears down over time. Luckily, there's something you can do about it. By following a regular maintenance routine, you’ll keep your EDC in working order and get the most out of your gear. To put it simply: take care of your EDC, and it’ll take care of you. 

In this guide, we’ve made maintenance easy. Read on to learn how to keep your gear in tip-top shape for the rest of this new year, and to ensure they're in it for the long run.

Knife Maintenance

  • Sharpening the Easy Way: Perhaps you’ve opened up one too many bags of ice melt, dulling your blade while exposing it to corrosive salts. Your blade could definitely use a touch up. The Spyderco Sharpmaker system brings a knife edge back from dangerously dull to razor sharp with just a few steps. The kit includes two sets of sharpening stones and an ergonomically designed base to get your blades sharp in a few minutes. Each set also includes a set of detailed illustrated instructions and a DVD if you still don’t feel confident with the process. BUY: Spyderco Sharpmaker on Amazon

  • Spruce Up Those Wooden Handles: Wood-handled knives look great, but that natural beauty can fade without proper care. Wood is prone to drying out, cracking, and wearing faster than the metal and plastic alternatives. Hit the handles with a light coat of mineral oil from time to time so they stay moisturized and crack-free. Just a few minutes of care can greatly extend the life of your favorite knife. BUY: Mineral Oil on Amazon

  • A Well-Oiled Machine: Folding knives are no doubt the most convenient type of knife to carry. Whether you carry a flipper or a lockback, all knives can benefit from a bit of CLP solution on the pivot. A good cleaning followed by a few drops of oil will keep your knife opening and closing smoothly and safely. If your blade is made of carbon steel, you can also add a light coating of oil to prevent the blade from rusting when not in use. BUY: CLP solution on Amazon

Wallet Maintenance

  • Remember to Moisturize: You should take extra care when working with natural materials, and leather is no exception. Not unlike wood, this organic material is prone to drying out, cracking, and wearing. Obenauf’s leather care oil is one of the most popular options for keeping leather goods smooth, moisturized, and protected. Use a clean cloth to apply a bit of oil to your wallet, knife sheath, boots, or any other leather you carry to protect it from the wear and tear of daily use. This odorless oil leaves leather looking like new and ready for carry. BUY: Leather Care Oil on Amazon

Bag and Jacket Maintenance

  • Stay Dry: Spring weather is usually unpredictable and more often than not, wet. Carrying a small packable rain jacket is a great way to stay dry. Over time, these jackets tend to lose their ability to shed water like when they were new. Hit your garment with a DWR (durable water repellent) restoring spray like these from Nixwax to keep the elements out. Cover your bases whether you're touching up your hard or softshell apparel and equipment like tents and sleeping bags. BUY: Nikwax Hardshell Duo-Pack on Amazon / Nikwax Softshell Duo-Pack on Amazon

Watch Maintenance

  • Wrist Check: Watches have a tendency to get pretty dirty. They’re on your wrist constantly being exposed to almost everything that you touch. Give your watch a good, thorough cleaning, and maybe even replace the strap if it’s beginning to wear out. This spring bar tool from Bergeron makes it especially easy to remove the spring bar (the piece that holds on a strap or bracelet) for greater access to the case. Clean it up, change the battery, and pop on a new strap all with a little bit of help from this must-have tool for watch maintenance. Take things a step further by making sure to keep track of when your last professional service was. It's always a good idea to know when the rubber gaskets, o-rings, and movement have been tuned up to ensure that your watch will keep ticking. BUY: Spring-bar Tool on Amazon

Flashlight Maintenance

  • Don't Get Caught in the Dark: Just because the sun is out later and later doesn’t mean you should neglect your flashlight. If you pull yours out from the drawer after all this time and it doesn’t turn on, check the battery. Regular alkaline batteries can leak and corrode in your light over time. Consider making the switch from alkaline to rechargeable lithium ion batteries. They’re safer to store in your lights should they go unused for longer periods of time and can be recharged when they’re dead. We like the high capacity Panasonic Eneloops here at Everyday Carry. They’re reliable and last longer than their one-and-done counterparts. After a small initial investment in the batteries and charger, you’ll find it’s hard to go back to the standard. To keep your light in working order, also check the o-rings for dry rot and hit the threads with some silicone grease for smooth operation and some added protection. BUY: Eneloop AA/AAA Rechargeable Batteries on Amazon / Sanyo High-Discharge 18650 Batteries on Illumn

Pen Maintenance

  • Make Your Metal Like New Again: Carrying some brass or copper gear that's loaded with patina? If the aged gear look isn't for you, bring those tools back to a brilliant shine with some Maas metal polish. A clean cloth, a dab of polish, and little bit of elbow grease can have your metal gear looking as good as new. BUY: Maas Metal Polish on Amazon

  • Time for a Refill: Lots of EDC pens accept the ever-popular Parker-style refill, though sometimes the stock ink cartridge writes less-than-great. Blobby, skipping lines, and scratchy writing ruin the experience of putting a pen to paper. If your writing mostly takes place indoors, consider picking up some Parker Gel refills. They're smooth, leave a crisp line on the page, and come in several vibrant colors. Need something more suited to hard use? Grab a pack of Fisher Space Pen refills. They'll get you writing in the rain, underwater, and even in outer space (should you find yourself up there). BUY: Parker Gel Ink Refills on Amazon

Did we miss any of your favorite maintenance tips? Let us know in the comments below how you keep your EDC in top shape.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (19 total)

George Bill ·
It's funny that we all use the same stuff. I started with Maas polish over 20 years ago, it's the best, and I am a sharpener. I also us the Spyderco on my EDC knives, and CLP on the blades and for cleaning small metal parts.
David Crosier ·
Love using CLP on knives!
Kevin J Meyer ·
And yet, another awesome, informative post. Keep 'em coming!
Goldthunder ·
Remington gun oil Remington gun oil. Cheap, found everywhere. Great for knives steel.
Daniel Eckman ·
It’s never great if something gets to this point, but if you have any issues with staining or corrosion on a blade, NevrDull is very helpful to have around. Also great on anything that tarnishes, if you have any copper or silver in your gear.
Garrett Richie ·
If you like the Parker gel refills, try Schmidt Easyflow 9000's. My favorite Parker Refill to date.
Robert Razavi ·
What's that gorgeous fountain pen?
Ed Jelley ·
It's the Fountain K in copper by Karas Kustoms!
Robert Razavi ·
Very nice! They are calling out to me...

Edit: oh God, I also just stumbled upon Tactile Turn's Gist fountain pens... Must... Resist... Buying... More.... Pens....
Ruminator ·
My EDC blade gets treated with a leather strop every week. I use a hone on it when the strop won't bring back the edge. My preferred honing tool is the KME sharpening system. I use the diamond hones and can get a great edge without changing the bevel of the blade. I carry a Kershaw Blur (1670) as my EDC. It needs the lint blown out now and then and a drop of RemOil keeps the pivot lubricated. Of course, the RemOil has use with my EDC sidearm as well. I prefer RemOil (or other firearm lubricants) to 3-in-1 oil.
Drew ·
Stupid question. When oiling my knife, do I leave the oil to sit on the blade or do I wipe it off after a certain amount of time? And will mineral oil work to free up the pivots as well?
David Crosier ·
Nah, that's not a stupid question.

After cleaning and completely drying my knives (I use a blow dryer,) I will oil the knife and work it in a bit, then I will let it set for a couple of minutes and then wipe off the extra. leave the oil in the pivot though!
As for mineral oil in the pivot, I wouldn't take that route. I would use CLP or some other Silicone-based lubricant. Also, I would pick up a Torx Screwdriver set. you can find them at almost any tool/hardware store. Hope this helps!
Martin ·
Great hints and truly important to keep doing maintenance. The better the maintenance the longer we can enjoy our EDC treasures
Chloe ·
nice tips! I definitely need to clean up my lights!
Simon Glenday ·
Hello, where is the card wallet from?
3 more comments